This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 31, 2010

DOE Orders AeroSys to Halt Distribution of Inefficient Products

DOE announced on March 30 that it is requiring AeroSys, Inc. to stop distributing two product models—one air conditioner and one heat pump—that DOE testing found to consume more energy than allowed under federal efficiency standards. Based independent test results, DOE has determined that the AeroSys heat pump (THHP-24T*) and one of the air conditioners (THDC-30T*) violate federal law, falling about 4% and 8% below minimum standards, respectively. DOE's Notice of Noncompliance to AeroSys requires the manufacturer to respond within 15 days of its March 25 issuance, detailing steps the company will take to remove the two failed models from U.S. commerce. AeroSys must also provide written notification of violations to all businesses that sold the products. If the company fails to respond, DOE will seek a judicial order to prevent the sale of the appliances. This is the first time DOE has told a company to halt the distribution of products that failed to meet minimum energy efficiency standards. See the DOE press release, and the full Notice of Noncompliance (PDF 158 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

DOE also recently launched two investigations into lighting, air conditioning, and heat pump products that may have failed to meet federal energy efficiency standards. These probes are part of the ongoing efforts at DOE and across the Obama Administration to strengthen and enforce federal energy efficiency standards that will save money for consumers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the country. In one investigation, DOE is seeking to determine whether certain air conditioners and heat pump products manufactured by Air Con International comply with federal energy efficiency standards. A subpoena issued on March 24 requires Air Con to submit detailed information about the energy consumption of its products and how Air Con marketed and sold them in the United States. See the DOE press release.

In the second investigation, DOE announced on March 24 that it had issued subpoenas to three companies that were identified as selling certain torchiere lamps that did not meet federal energy efficiency standards. Under the subpoenas, Target Corporation; Adesso, Inc.; and Habitex Corporation are required to submit detailed information about the design of these products and how the companies marketed and sold them in the United States. A torchiere is a type of electric floor lamp that includes a reflector bowl that directs light upwards rather than downwards. Both Target and Adesso privately label torchieres manufactured by Habitex and sell them to consumers under their own brand names. The companies have 30 days to respond to the subpoena, and based on the information they provide, DOE will determine whether these products violate the energy conservation standards for torchiere lamps. Under DOE's energy efficiency standards, torchieres must not be capable of operating with light bulbs that total more than 190 watts. See the DOE press release.